We are updating our Home Study because we have moved to CA. I would recommend not updating a HS unless you absolutely have to. Not letting the across-the-country drive slow us down, we completed forms and made copies of the various HS and Dossier documents and mailed them from Memphis TN to the agency in CA who is helping us with the update. We have found an adoption agency in CA (Across the World Adoption - ATWA), and a great social worker in the San Diego area was recommended to us.
I say don't update the HS unless absolutely needed for a couple of reasons.
#1. Updating it is state specific. CA requires a full HS redo (essentially repeating everything). Much of the info already with AWAA will carry over, but there are various forms that don't.......and then there's the finger printing. We both had to get finger printed because the background checks (all 3 - CA, FBI, and Dept of Justice) do NOT carry over from AWAA and must be redone. This has added $211 to our expenses total along with the $850 fee to ATWA. Our AWAA Family Coordinator will get everything. Needless to say, repeating everything is just a wee bit frustrating.
#2. Our USCIS case must be transferred from the Norfolk office to the San Diego office. That sounds simple, but we've heard it could take up to three weeks. This is required because our updated HS needs to go through the local USCIS office. From there, our update will go through the National Visa Center to the Embassy in Ethiopia. We have no idea how long this takes, but it doesn't sound short.
That's as far as we have discovered so far. We'll keep the updates coming as we figure out the extent of the HS update.
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